Bank Of Elgin Warns Of Scams

The Bank of Elgin has been working with local citizens concerning scams involving telephone calls and malware on their computers.
According to Michael Moser, the two most recent scams active in Elgin involve ransom ware on computers and fraudulent “arrests” telephone calls. Residents have reported that their computers have become hijacked by ransom ware.  While working online or opening a suspect email, what normally happens is a screen pops up and a loud voice announces that your computer has become infected by a virus. Users are instructed to click on a link or call a number. Once the individual makes contact, they are told that it can be fixed for an amount of money. This is a ploy commonly used by thieves to access online financial accounts.
Fortunately for Bank of Elgin customers, the bank does not support “bill pay” online. “It’s actually a good deal for our customers,” Moser said. If a feature such a “bill pay” was allowed, bank accounts could be emptied in a short amount of time.
The Elgin Review recommends that people utilize a reputable computer repair person since many of the popular malware-removal programs that can be found online are actually a source of even more malware, viruses and trojans.
The telephone scam currently circulating involves people receiving a call that their grandchild or another family member has been arrested and that they need to wire $10,000 to an account. Fortunately, staff at the bank has been able to protect these people from sending the money to these scammers.
The Bank of Elgin and the Nebraska Bankers Association offers the following information for residents concerning money scams which seem to be ongoing issues.
Don’t Fall Victim to the Grandparent Scam
According to the Federal Trade Commission, between 2012 and 2014, consumers reported more than $42 million in losses from scams involving the impersonation of family members and friends. This scam, commonly known as the “grandparent scam,” is a form of financial abuse that deliberately targets older Americans.
To commit this crime, fraudsters call claiming to be a family member in serious trouble and in need of money immediately. The scammer might say he’s stranded or has been mugged, and call in the middle of the night to add to the urgency and confusion. Once the money is wired, the victim later finds out that it wasn’t their grandchild they were helping, it was a criminal.
Confirm the caller. Fraud-sters are using social networking sites to gain the personal information of friends and relatives to carry out their crimes. Verify the caller by calling them back on a known number or consult a trusted family member before acting on any request.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Fraudsters want to execute their crimes quickly. In this type of scam, they count on fear and your concern for your loved one to make you act before you think. The more questions you ask the more inclined they will be to ditch the scam if they suspect you’re on to them.
Never give personal information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
Never rush into a financial decision and trust your instincts. Don’t be fooled—if something doesn’t feel right, it may not be right. Feel free to say no and get more information before you send money to someone.
Tools to use to fight fraud:
•Ignore all mail, phone, and e-mail solicitations for foreign lottery promotions and investment opportunities. Consult with someone you know and trust to collaborate on your philanthropic and investment decisions.
•Always be cautious about submitting advance fees for any business or sweepstakes offer—no matter where the offer originates.
•Don’t trust e-mails or text messages that appear to be from your financial institution or a government agency and request your bank account or Social Security number. Legitimate institutions will not e-mail or text you to deliver critical news or to request details about your account or financial status.
•Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
•Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet to persons or businesses that are unknown to you.